PIA Announces Cargo Price Cuts to Gear up Mango Export

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in a move to facilitate mango exports amid global trade shut down due to COVID-19, announced one third price reduction in Air Cargo Tariff pertaining to the mango trade uplift from Pakistan.

The national carrier took this decision after the issue was raised in the Special Committee of the National Assembly (NA) on Agriculture Products that also asked the concerned authorities to resolve issues pertaining to the export of mangoes as early as possible.

It also asked PIA to facilitate the shipment of consignments of perishable export items, as delays and cancellation of flights were causing losses to the exporters.

It is pertinent to note the meeting was chaired by NA Speaker, Asad Qaiser, with Planning Minister, Asad Umar, Foreign Affairs Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, National Food Security and Research Minister, Fakhar Imam, Aviation Minister, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, NA members Famida Mirza, Naveed Qamar and PIA CEO, Air Commodore Arshad Malik in attendance.Representing mango exporters, Waheed Ahmed, Head of Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA), joined the meeting via video link and informed the participants about the barriers that have been hindering mango export.

According to media reports, Waheed Ahmed said due to the partial opening of the Pak-Iran border the mango export to Iran was in jeopardy.

“A limited number of trucks that come from Iran to Pakistan are being utilised to export mangoes to Iran, and this is not sufficient to meet the demand of our importers,” he stated.

Noting the problem, PIA took the decision after a series of talks between the PIA team led by PIA’s CEO himself. Air Marshal Arshad Malik and teams from All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association, led by Waheed Ahmed and a joint collaboration between Academia and Mango Farmers and Growers led by Dr. Asif Ali, Vice Chancellor Multan Agricultural University, Dr. Waqar Ahmed Ms. Rabia Sultan, Major Tariq and Mehmood Shahnawaz.

They discussed the possibilities of recuperating the struggling domestic fruit and vegetable export market. As per estimates, Pakistan annually exports around 10,000 metric tonnes of high quality mangoes by air, mostly to different destinations in Europe, the Americas, Gulf and the Middle East Region that has earned good amount of foreign exchange for the county.

Pakistani mango also termed as the King of Fruits is considered as a rare and extremely sought after delicacy around the world, known for its sweetness and quality. The shelf life of mango is very less hence the mango export has always been preferred by air. It has been decided by PIA that effective immediately the air cargo tariff for exporting mangoes shall be reduced by up to 30 per cent in different weight slots.

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